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List of Williamette Valley Old Vine Pinot Noir Vineyards by Original Planting Dates 1965-1979

David Lett Christening the first planting of Pinot Noir in the
Willamette Valley in the spring of 1965
(Copyright Diana Lett)


The Eyrie Vineyard


Charles Coury Vineyard (now David Hill Vineyard)


Chehalem Mountain Vineyard (variously reported as 1968 or 1969)


Ponzi Estate Vineyard
William Sims Family Vineyard (Umpqua Valley)

1970-1971 (and “1970s”)

Maresh Vineyard (1970)
Sunnyside Vineyard (1970-1971)
Preston Vineyard (now Amity Estate Vineyard) (1970-1972)
Oak Knoll Vineyard (Oak Knoll Winery founded in 1970; vineyard planted in the “1970’s”)
Bangsund Vineyard (Columbia Gorge; vineyard planted in the “1970’s”)


Archibald Vineyard (also reportedly 1973)
Breaker Vineyard
Cattrall Brothers Vineyard
Eola Springs Vineyard
Hinman Vineyards
Holley Blue Vineyard
Knudsen Vineyard
Le Pavillion Vineyard (1972-1974)
McDaniel Vineyard (now Olson Estate Vineyard)
Quarter Mile Lane Vineyard
Saucy Vineyard (now Furioso Vineyard)
Shafer Vineyard
Sokol Blosser Estate Vineyard


Beran Vineyards (now Ruby Vineyard)
Brooks Estate Vineyard (1973-1974)
Durant Vineyard Bishop Block
Eola Hills Vineyard (now Eola Hills Cellars Legacy Estate Vineyard
Leroy Vineyard


Daphne Vineyard
Elk Cove Estate Vineyard
Red Hills Vineyard (1974-1975, now Winderlea Vineyard)
Tyee Estate Vineyard
Wahle Vineyard
Windhill Vineyard
Wirtz Vineyard


Abetina Vineyard
Hinman Vineyards
Weber Vineyard (1975-1976)


Adams Vineyard (now Trout Lily Farm)
DION Vineyard
Medici Vineyard
Woodhall Vineyard


Bethel Heights West Block
Courting Hill Vineyard
Fuqua Vineyard (1977-1978)
Mary’s Peak Vineyard (1977-1980)
Oracle Vineyard


Abbey Ridge Vineyard
Bethel Heights Flat Block
Cooper Mountain Old Vines Vineyard
Five Mountain Vineyard
Murto Vineyard
White Rose Estate Vineyard (1978-1982)


Bethel Heights Southeast Block

Other Willamette Valley Pinot Noir vineyards planted in the 1970s: Holley Blue Vineyard (1972), Feitz Vineyard (1973), Mulhausen Vineyard (1973), Nehalem Bay Vineyard (1973), Champoeg Vineyard (1974), Jonicolle Vineyard (1975), Ellendale Vineyard (1976), Catalyst Vineyard (1978), Strangeland Vineyard (1978) Chateau Benoit Vineyard (1979), Hidden Springs Vineyard (1979).

Four Special Willamette Valley Pinot Noir vineyards planted in 1981-1983:
Courting Hill Vineyard (1981-1983)
Freedom Hill Vineyard (1981-1982)
Seven Springs Vineyard (1982)
Temperance Hill Vineyard (1981-1983)

HillCrest Vineyard

Richard Sommers reportedly planted 35 grape varieties in the Umpqua Valley beginning in 1961 and continuing in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1968, the first post-Prohibition Vitis vinifera planted in Oregon. All of the original Pinot Noir plantings were own-rooted Pommard clone. Dyson DeMara purchased HillCrest Vineyard in 2003. Most of the original plantings were removed in 2004, including all of the Pinot Noir except a 1968 old vines block. The 1968 planting also included an Upright (GB) selection.

The remaining 1968 block of Pinot Noir has been pulled out due to phylloxera infestation. Newer plantings of Pinot Noir at HillCrest contain Pommard cuttings from the 1968 planting and another old unidentified selection from a local vineyard. The vineyard sits on a western-facing bench at an elevation of 850’. Vineyard spacing is 10’ x 6’. Soils are decomposed sandstone that is red in color.

HillCrest is Oregon’s oldest existing estate winery, releasing Oregon’s first Pinot Noir from the 1967 vintage (but possibly as early as 1964). As a result, it is considered the birthplace of Oregon Pinot Noir. HillCrest is the only Oregon winery that is a state historic site.

I recently drank a 2009 HillCrest Vineyard Memorial Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir from old vines. The wine had held up nicely. The nose offered aromas of blackberry, black currant, nuts and old barrel cave. Mid-weight plus in style, showing a riper fruit profile (2009 was a warm year) of cassis and blackberry with accents of root beer, herbs and vanilla. There was a contribution of toasty oak and the finish was dry but not dried out. It was an exotic wine with an old wine patina. 92

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